Nebraska

STATUS:

Anti-relationship recognition constitutional amendment

WHAT'S HAPPENING:

State advocacy groups are working toward fairness for all of Nebraska's families by overturning a constitutional amendment that prohibits relationship recognition for same-sex couples in the state.

In 2013, private lawyers filed a lawsuit in Nebraska seeking legal respect for a same-sex couple's out-of-state marriage. Read more about marriage litigation in Nebraska.

HISTORY:

In 2000, anti-gay forces in Nebraska pushed through Initiative Measure 416, a constitutional amendment that excludes same-sex couples from marriage and prohibits same-sex couples from attaining any form of legal family status. 

In May 2005, a federal court declared the amendment unconstitutional, but a federal appeals court reinstated it in July 2006.

GROUPS ACTIVELY WORKING ON MARRIAGE:

  • Citizens for Equal Protection is a non-profit membership organization dedicated to advocating for the rights of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender families in the state of Nebraska
  • Freedom to Marry is the campaign to win marriage for same-sex couples nationwide. 
  • Human Rights Campaign is the United States' largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) equality. 

POLLING DATA:

A majority of Nebraskans, 54%, support some form of legal recognition for same-sex couples, with 32% saying they support marriage and an additional 22% saying they support civil union. (The Omaha World-Herald Poll, October 2012

NUMBER OF SAME-SEX COUPLES:

According to The Williams Institute's analysis of the 2010 U.S. Census, 2,356 same-sex couples are living in Nebraska, representing 3.3 same-sex couples per 1,000 households.

Blog Posts Related to Nebraska

Same-sex couples and the ACLU file case seeking to overturn Nebraska marriage ban

On November 17, 2014, the American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU of Nebraska, and the law firm of Koenig Dunne filed a legal challenge to Nebraska's law denying the freedom to marry to same-sex couples, on behalf of seven same-sex couples seeking to marry in state or have their legal marriages respected in Nebraska.

Voice for Equality: Laura Ricketts

Laura Ricketts is co-owner of the Chicago Cubs and CEO of Ecotravel.com. Ricketts is also a board member of Lambda Legal and the Housing Opportunities for Women organization.

Ricketts' ownership stake in the Cubs is uniquely noteworthy because it makes her the first openly gay owner of a major-league sports franchise.

Omaha newspaper to include wedding announcements of same-sex couples

The Omaha World-Herald, amid a firestorm of protest on Facebook, has decided to re-examine its practices and policies concerning wedding announcements.

'Celebrations' announcements regarding licensed legal weddings approved by states, engagements for legal weddings or anniversaries of legal marriages will be welcomed, regardless of the genders of the couple.

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Resources Related to Nebraska

Pew Poll Finds Growing Support for Freedom to Marry Among Evangelicals, Majority Support Among Youth

A comprehensive Pew poll found majority support for the freedom to marry among young people, college graduates and Catholics, with growing support among all other religious categories.

Nebraska Census Snapshot

Demographic and economic information about same-sex couples and same-sex couples raising children in Nebraska.

Geographic Trends Among Same-Sex Couples in the U.S. Census and the American Community Survey

Groundbreaking research showing a huge increase in same-sex couples identifying themselves as "unmarried partners".

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